British Columbia Sun

Yukon has followed B.C. in announcing a substance use emergency


Key takeaways: 

  • The emergency proclamation gives ‘more political power’ to bring an action, states an ex B.C. official.
  • Ex B.C. regional health officer Perry Kendall stated B.C.’s emergency proclamation on opioid-related demises indicated more media attention. 
  • It instantly changed how the region gathers data on where and when individuals overdose. 

The substance use emergency by Yukon and BC: 

Perry Kendall, British Columbia’s ex regional health officer, observed as the digit of illegal drug demises persisted to increase, unabated, in the region in the spring of 2016. 

Three individuals died on average every day in B.C. from illegal drugs at the time — a hint, Kendall stated, that what his office was doing to constrain the number of casualties wasn’t functioning. 

He chose to call a public health emergency on April 14, 2016. 

“Even though we were doing a bunch of prophylactic work, the digits just kept moving up,” Kendall revealed CBC.  Source –

Nearly six years later, the Yukon government pursued suit, calling a substance use health emergency the previous month following a growth of demises reflected what Kendall had noticed in B.C.

Also read: B.C. youth sports games to restart — but not school-based titles

Yukon joins BC in declaring a substance use emergency due to rising deaths

Eight individuals in Yukon died from illegal drug use between Jan. 3 and 24, according to the most current press release from the region’s chief coroner. 

Toxicology outcomes are still pending for one other case, but initial proof points illegal drugs were an aspect.

Declaration got awareness to rural services to B.C.

Kendall stated that B.C.’s emergency declaration brought regional and nationwide awareness of what was occurring in that region, allowing more federal support to drip down to more healthcare services. 

It also explained the regional government’s new spending or policy differences to manage the situation. 

“I consider an emergency declaration gives you more political influence because it states we realize it is an emergency and we want to mobilize the resources we can,” he stated.  Source –

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